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Old 05-08-2024, 07:42 PM   #1
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Recovering the seats

As I mentioned in another thread, I bought a set of replacement leather seat covers from Lseat.com. I chose black leather w/ black stitching, perforated inset, embossed Porsche logo, pattern A. Except for the embossed logo, they're identical to the factory stock covers. The price with the options I selected: a couple bucks shy of $500, including $30 shipping. The workmanship looks very good.



I wrestled the seats out of the car today. They're heavy as hell, but I managed to get them out and loaded into my Isuzu. The passenger seat's leather wasn't too bad, but the driver's seat had been patched with black tape. In the photo a set of new covers is draped over the passenger seat. The other set's in the plastic bag.



Tomorrow I'm taking them to an auto upholstery shop. I'm sure I could install the new covers myself — many folks do — but I figure a pro can do it in a tenth the time it would take me. Besides, installation requires hog rings and I'm a vegetarian. ** rimshot **

Tonight I vacuumed the flotsam and jetsam that had collected under the seats over the years. The carpet cleaned up well. Plus, I found 76 cents in change!

More to come...

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Old 05-09-2024, 08:58 AM   #2
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Tonight I vacuumed the flotsam and jetsam that had collected under the seats over the years. The carpet cleaned up well. Plus, I found 76 cents in change!
To which my son, a millennial, would respond, "What's 'change'?" (follow-up **rimshot**)

I look forward to seeing the final product!
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Old 05-09-2024, 11:25 AM   #3
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I too will be waiting to see the final product. So far I've found about $17 in change in my car, it's slowly paying for itself. At this rate it will be paid off in about 1,000 years, assuming I keep finding change.
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Old 05-09-2024, 05:56 PM   #4
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Hit a bit of a snag at the auto upholstery shop. A $550 snag. I had figured their estimate would come in at $250 - $300. I was prepared to pay $300, tops. But $550 is larceny. I'm going to get estimates from other auto upholstery shops in the area. Meanwhile some friends are urging me to put on the new covers myself. "You can do this," they say. And they're right. I could do it, although it would take me ten times as long as a a professional upholsterer. The longer you live, the more you realize that time is a precious commodity.

To be continued...
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Old 05-09-2024, 07:36 PM   #5
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Yeah, the real cost is $250, which is the amount above what you were willing to pay. The older I get, the more it is worth it. Just MHO
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Old 05-10-2024, 10:11 AM   #6
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Yeah, the real cost is $250, which is the amount above what you were willing to pay. The older I get, the more it is worth it. Just MHO
Bruce, forgive me, but I don't understand the point you're trying to make. Care to enlighten me?
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Old 05-10-2024, 10:37 AM   #7
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You were willing to pay $300 so the cost is $250 (550-300) The way I look at these things, is it worth the extra $250 above what I already mentally agreed to or is that just too much more. A way to justify spending more money in my head. Does that make sense?
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Old 05-10-2024, 01:29 PM   #8
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You were willing to pay $300 so the cost is $250 (550-300) The way I look at these things, is it worth the extra $250 above what I already mentally agreed to or is that just too much more. A way to justify spending more money in my head. Does that make sense?
That's just too much more, but I appreciate the explanation.
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Old 05-10-2024, 02:57 PM   #9
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That's just too much more, but I appreciate the explanation.
LoneWolf, most of the times, labor is more expensive than the parts itself..

Please don't take me wrong, but in my case I would prefer paying a professional to get a good result.. as I have seen several DYI upholstery jobs that just don't look right, like sagging lines etc., sometimes the upholster will have to replace the foam as well to get the OEM look.

The way I see it, once you pay the $500 labor, after a few months you will forget about the money but every time you get on your car you will be glad you did it. :-) In the other hand if you DYI and does not come pretty tight (or with crooked seems), you will regret not paying a pro for the job.

I can handle many mechanical repairs, but I know that I don't have the experience, knowledge (or the tools) to do a professional upholstery or a good paint job, in those cases I rather to pay someone to get it done right the first time, the last thing you want is to ruin your new leather covers..

PS: I admire that you are a hands on person that is not afraid to get your hands dirty to do your own repairs, hats off to you :-)
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Old 05-11-2024, 05:21 AM   #10
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Over the past 20 years, I've had upholstery work done on several occasions. I've noticed a steady increase in cost and a decline in the number of upholstery shops in my area. I think the cost increase is linked to both overall inflation and the fact that people are keeping their cars longer.

I recently had a "sticker shock" experience similar to Lone Wolf's. The headliner in my Mercedes started to sag and the two shops I visited quoted around $1600 to replace it. This was in the middle of the pandemic, and the shops were backed up with work. I decided to DIY the project. https://mbworld.org/forums/c-class-w203/787955-w203-headliner-removal.html

I concluded that upholstery work is something that a person with average DIY skills can do. However, I don't think my first attempt provided the level of craftsmanship that I would expect from a professional. I also had time available due to the pandemic. If I was taking time from other activities, it may have made more sense to let the shop complete the work.

I think Gilles makes some good points especially regarding the possibility that some foam repair may be needed on the seats. I don't think $500 is an unreasonable price for top-quality work. But I don't want to discourage Lone Wolf. If she takes her time, she should be able to achieve good results and she will learn a new skill. Good luck to her.
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Old 05-11-2024, 09:29 AM   #11
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I concluded that upholstery work is something that a person with average DIY skills can do. However, I don't think my first attempt provided the level of craftsmanship that I would expect from a professional. I also had time available than due to the pandemic. If I was taking time from other activities, it may have made more sense to let the shop complete the work.

I think Gilles makes some good points especially regarding the possibility that some foam repair may be needed on the seats. I don't think $500 is an unreasonable price for top-quality work. But I don't want to discourage Lone Wolf. If she takes her time, she should be able to achieve good results and she will learn a new skill. Good luck to her.
Yeah, I agree that Gilles made some good points — dammit! I've been mulling it over since he posted them. I'm sure I could install the covers myself, and I'm such a fussbudget about such things, the end result would be close to professional. But it would take me ten times as long as a pro, maybe longer. It all comes down to one question: How much is my time worth? As I said in my first post, the longer you live, the more you realize that time is a precious commodity. I had figured on repainting the center console and armrests satin black while the auto upholstery shop did the seats. Before I break into a rendition of "Nobody Knows the Trouble I Seen," I need to bear in mind that this is definitely a first-world problem, no?
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Old 05-11-2024, 09:42 AM   #12
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i did seats in a Jeep a while back. Trust me its worth 550 for 2 seats. Hog rings suck
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Old 05-13-2024, 02:31 PM   #13
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PS: I admire that you are a hands on person that is not afraid to get your hands dirty to do your own repairs, hats off to you :-).
Thanks, Gilles. I have my brothers to thank for that. I was always hanging around the garage and they'd rope me into giving them a hand.
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Old 05-14-2024, 06:30 AM   #14
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Last year I had my console, arm rests, and a couple small parts sand blasted and found the plastic under the gray, badly scratched covering was a matte black. I liked that color and had it clear coated. Total cost to me was $350. I have had it for one driving season and am very satisfied with the results. Looking forward to seeing photos of your new interior.
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Old 05-14-2024, 10:42 AM   #15
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I put my own lseat leather on. It is a lot of work and your hands will be sore. I also have more time than money. I would also hate to pay to have them installed and they not turn out well. Mine had a few sags but hot sun and steam helped smooth it out.
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Old 05-14-2024, 08:08 PM   #16
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I'm leaning toward taking a crack at it. I have a sturdy 6-foot-long folding table, which I think would be perfect for working on the seats, and I have access to hog rings and hog ring pliers. Furthermore, I have a helper with strong hands who volunteered. It's like it was meant to be.
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Old 05-15-2024, 06:33 AM   #17
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Whatever you decide I wish you they don't end up like the old lady from Florida skin and hopefully nice tight and young

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Old 05-15-2024, 10:27 AM   #18
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Use a steamer on you foam to help fluff it back out. This is a good time to add some foam to seat bottom and lumbar. You can use thin plastic, like what dry cleaned clothes' or painters plastic drop cloth under the seat back leather to help it slide into place. The hardest part is the front of the seat bottom. It just takes a lot of hand strength. The electrical switch on the side is easy to break. I know this from experience. I read a post somewhere that a guy used zip ties instead of hog rings. I wound not. Hog rings are the easy part.
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Old 05-16-2024, 05:53 AM   #19
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I read a post somewhere that a guy used zip ties instead of hog rings. I wound not. Hog rings are the easy part.
During my Miata ownership period, I found a great deal on a set of Katzskin leather seat covers. (The seller bought the covers but sold the car before installing them.) I considered installing the covers myself. I read several posts in which owners used zip ties instead of hog rings to install them. On the Miata, some of the zip ties would rub on metal which eventually sawed through them. I don't know whether this would occur on a Boxster, but I think wiebuschk is likely correct with his guidance on this issue.

I think it is also wise to expect that some of the foam in your driver's seat will need to be enhanced. Someone has been sitting in that seat for almost 25 years and some wear and tear is inevitable. Passenger seats are not occupied all the time, so that may not need any work.
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Old 05-16-2024, 10:18 PM   #20
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When the auto upholstery guy looked at the seats to give me an estimate he said the foam in the driver's seat seemed pretty good. That's unusual, he said. I guess I caught a break there. I'm researching watching YouTube videos and reading articles and forum posts by folks who've put them on before I dive in. I intend to take lots of photos during the process.

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